Topics in ‘Home’

Greatness, analyzed through love songs

Hey kids, it’s poetry explication time! Give me five double-spaced pages on Robert Frost’s “Nature’s First Green is Gold” by Friday or your grade is toast and your parents will disown you, you’ll never hold a good job, and you’ll die destitute and alone. Just kidding. I hated dissecting poetry in school, but loved the […]

The economic downturn is not going to kill Wikipedia.

Please. Will the talking heads just shut up? That dude who wrote that book slamming “amateurs,” which I will not name because like hell I’m gonna give him free press, has written something else equally stupid. This time it’s short, at least, and free, and therefore not nearly as offensive as the whole goddamn book. […]

Can we can it with the damn "where are the women?" crap already?

So I wrote this one a while ago but only just now cleaned it up because José asked me to rant. I was thinking about it because of this somewhat idiotic article, commenting on this incredibly idiotic article. For a historical look on my feelings on this topic, you can also read this article I […]

Puritanism & engineerism: not new, but alive and well

Pissing me off is one of the best ways to convince me to write something. Take, for example, the following. The setup We humans have a tendency to want to see in black and white. That concept is nothing new, referred to any time there’s some kind of moral dilemma, or religious war, yadda yadda […]

Arrogance and humility

Two perspectives. Clay Shirky, writing on A Brief Message: Design is arrogance. The designer says, “I know what you want better than you. Here it is.” A designer offers judgment as superior; as Henry Ford said, “If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” Design is humility.Users […]

Success at failcamp

Alex and I ran failcamp fast & loose and it worked. (Alex’s writeup is here.) Our guiding idea was to discuss failure, in all its guises. We wanted to hold a forum where it was not only OK to admit to not being glossy & perfect, but actually required. We wanted to discuss things practical […]

Feeling the current, or being swept away?

A good in-depth article on information hoarding: Linder argues that as we become squeezed for consumption time, we’ll consume more expensive things over cheaper things when possible to make use of more goods on a total-cost basis. But when the cost of goods is zero, what happens then? As behavioral economists (most vociferously, Dan Ariely) […]

Karl Duncker on Problem Solving

Karl Duncker was a brilliant psychological researcher in the early 20th century, and one of the important figures in Gestalt Theory movement. His seminal work was his book on “productive thought,” Zur Psychologie des produktiven Denkens”, as well as the English-language book *On problem-solving. Neither of which it is possible to get your hands on, […]

Creative Scrape: An Inspiration Utility

I hate feed readers. The idea for creativescrape was midwifed by that hate (a fiery, passionate hate it is). Like email, feed readers are almost exclusively uniform—and uniformly bad. They try to make everything in the world fit into the same mold, however cramped and unpleasant it may be. As developers we naturally find this […]

Hyphenated People’s Usability Prix Fixe

Hello, friends. We’re your usability consultants. Is your web app tired? Run down? Listless? Does it poop out at diggings? Is it unpopular on The answer to all of your problems is in this little bottle consulting package. Hyphenated People Prix Fixe. Yes, Hyphenated People Prix Fixe contains vitamins, meat, vegetables, and minerals and […]

Hey, why not get a shiny
Freckle Time Tracking